Sunday, June 26, 2011

For Bacon Lovers: Spaghetti All'Amatriciana

I love bacon, so I love recipes that call for bacon. This is a traditional Italian dish that calls for pancetta. Pancetta is Italian bacon, typically salt cured and seasoned with such spices as nutmeg, fennel peppercorns, dried hot peppers and garlic, then dried for at least three months. It tends to have a much more delicate flavor than our American bacon. So I just chucked it and use regular bacon instead. I want bacon, dammit! If you want delicate, feel free to use pancetta.

And while the recipe calls for spaghetti, go right ahead and use whatever kind of pasta you choose. Tonight I am making this with fusilli col buco, which are long, corkscrew-shaped strands of pasta. This dish is just packed with delicious flavors...fried bacon, sauteed red onions and diced tomatoes. If you are drinking wine with this meal, make it Pinot Noir. Bacon and Pinot Noir have a passionate love for each other, so invite them to dance together on your tongue!

12 ounces of bacon, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil plus 1/3 cup
2 large red onions, thinly sliced
2, 14.5 ounce cans of organic diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound of spaghetti or other pasta
1/4 cup of salt
8 ounces grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Fill a large pot with water. Add salt and bring to a boil.
  2. Put a Dutch oven on the burner over medium high heat. Add one tablespoon of olive oil. Add bacon and stir frequently until bacon is cooked. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain.
  3. Drain most bacon fat, but reserve 3 tablespoons in Dutch oven. Keep burner at medium high heat and add thinly sliced onions. Saute and stir frequently until onions are soft, about 8 minutes. 
  4. Add tomatoes, red pepper flakes and bacon back to Dutch oven. Stir thoroughly to mix ingredients. Cover and reduce heat to low.
  5. Add pasta to boiling water and cook for one minute less than package instructions.
  6. When cooked, drain pasta and add 1/3 cup of olive oil. Stir to coat noodles.
  7. Divide pasta among serving plates and top with sauce. Sprinkle each serving with grated Parmesan.
Wine pairing: Pinot Noir

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